Disclaimer: Inuyasha is the property of Rumiko Takahashi and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is the property of Karan Johar. I own this computer…that's about it
Kagome bit her lip as she looked at her small counterpart. How could she have not known? Now, all she wanted to do was sweep the young girl into her arms and tell her everything would be okay.
It would only be eight years too late...
Shaking her head to clear her thoughts, she focused on handing out snacks to the campers. As Kagome greeted her grandmother, she realized with mild surprise that this was Inuyasha's mother. Still, she wasn't going to reveal the fact that she knew him - it seemed inappropriate. Besides it was forever ago. It's not as if it mattered.
But she has your name....
"You can call me Kagome." she smiled at the silver haired child.
"Kagome." she smiled. "Would it be okay if Shippo helps us to serve?"
"Of course." she smiled softly. "Why don't you give him half of your basket and he can hand out to that side of the room?"
"Okay!" she smiled turning to the besotted redheaded boy that was gazing at her. Kagome smiled warmly at the puppy love as she leaned down to help them separate the brightly colored bags. The door clattered open making her look up in surprise. Her heart slowed to a crawl before thumping furiously.
Inuyasha stood in the door way, out of breath, eyes searching the room. Once they settled on the little girl he was looking for he sighed in relief. She looked fine, healthy - more healthy than she usually looked, he thought chagrined. He'd spent the last 4 hours driving at top speeds, sure he'd find her ill and miserable and here she was yucking it up with camp counselors. He was going to kill her. Following her line of vision, he realized that the woman next to her was staring at him. Taking in her slender curves, glossy black hair, and wide grey eyes he felt himself react in an instinctively male way before a niggling sense of recognition tore at him. It was those eyes...fuller cheeks, sunburned skin, shorter hair...Kagome? he stumbled forward a half step, dropping his suitcase, eyes locked with hers before stopping. She straightened stiffly, placing her basket on a nearby table before moving forward uncertainly. He met her halfway, his eyes searching her face. "Is it really you?" he whispered, sounding for all the world like she was going to disappear.
"Hi Inuyasha." she murmured, his name sliding over her tongue like an unused language. Familiar yet awkward. She held out her hand as he held open his arms to embrace her. Blinking rapidly, she opened her arms as he lowered his and thrust his hand forward to catch her offering. Unsure of what to do, she lowered her eyes, twisting her fingers together nervously. Pull yourself together, girl. You're not eighteen anymore...she admonished inwardly. That sentiment was forgotten however, as he gently rested his hands on her upper arms, giving her a shaky smile as she raised her startled eyes to meet his. The warmth of his light touch seem to ignite a firestorm in her, pushing against her well built walls. She smiled back in spite of her roiling emotions.
"Son? What are you doing here?" Izayoi asked, clearing her throat. Looking down at Kagome for a beat more, he dropped his hands turning to his mother.
"I got a message from Kagome, she sounded sick." he answered distractedly as he kissed her cheek before turning a stern gaze on his daughter who was smiling beatifically at him. "I thought I told you no camp."
"I'm so happy to see you, Daddy! I missed you..."
"I've missed you too but-"
"Granny and I have had so much fun! And Miss - Kagome that is, would never let us get sick..."
"Is that right?" he said glancing at the woman in question who was edging away from the family reunion. Pressing his lips into a firm line, he looked over his child carefully taking in her slight tan and healthy glow. Yep, there was nothing sickly about her. "You're sure you're okay?"
"Of course Daddy. I've been having a great time. Isn't that right Granny?"
"Oh yes, we've both been having fun." Izayoi smiled, faltering slightly when Inuyasha scowled at her. "Don't you look at me like that, young man. I did what I thought was right. And look at her, she's perfectly fine. Happy even..." A thoughtful look crossed her face. "I know! Why don't you stick around up here to help out, see it for yourself? Perhaps you'll be happy too..."
Inuyasha missed the sly note in her voice along with the look passed between his daughter and mother as his eyes drifted back to the dark haired woman who was now assisting an old geezer in passing out snacks. Her gaze caught his and she looked away quickly, a pretty shade of pink dusting her cheeks. "Yeah...maybe I will..." he answered distracted.
Kagome cursed inwardly as she turned away like a little girl. Coward, she chided. You're 30 years old, stop behaving like a child. He's here for his daughter for kami sake.
"Totosai! Good news! my son will be staying here for the rest of the summer. he can help out around the camp since Mr. Ryouku twisted his ankle..."
"I'm shocked to see you here." His voice was right behind her. She turned to see him a mere few inches from her face and her heart lurched. "Can we go...talk or something?"
"Yeah...just let me finish handing out these..." She looked down at the empty basket in her hands and smirked. "Or now is good...."
She wrapped her arms around herself as they walked outside of the brightly lit main cabin. She cursed silently, wishing she had remembered her favorite sweater before a weight settled on her shoulders. Looking around she realized that Inuyasha had draped his suit jacket onto her smaller frame. Taking in the sight of his broad shoulders and well defined muscles under the dark dress shirt he wore, she faltered.
"Won't you be cold?"
"Nah. Besides, you were shivering."
"Thanks." she said simply, pulling it a little closer around her. "So-"
"What-" he started at the same time as her. Their eyes met and they laughed slightly. "I can't believe you're here, of all places..."
"I volunteer here every year. I run the infirmary and plan the activities." she offered lamely, wincing inwardly at the false note in her voice.
"So did you become a doctor, like you wanted to?"
"I did. I mean, I am. A pediatrician." she smiled, feeling warm at the appreciative look in his eye. "And you?"
"Started a consulting firm. I come in and fix problems for large companies."
"Helping people. Like you always wanted."
"It's a living." he shrugged before looking at her intently. "What happened to you, Kagome?"
"What do you mean?" Struggling to keep her voice light, she tried to put her barriers back up. Could he see what I've become? This...shell?
"You just disappeared."
"Oh," she paused for a moment before shaking her head. Of course he couldn't tell. Why would he be able too? "I went home for a few months, helped to take care of the shrine and my grandfather. He eventually got better and I went to a school closer to home. See? Not much to it." she managed her most blinding smile only to have it falter at his probing gaze.
"It's been a long time. I...I've missed you."
Kagome answered in a quiet, honest voice. "I've missed you too." Giving him a somber look, she sighed. "I didn't realize she was your...she told me that her mother...then I saw the picture and I...I'm so sorry Inuyasha."
He ran a hand though his hair looking down. "Kikyo died a few hours after giving birth to Kagome. Her name...it was one of her last wishes." Kagome looked up at him surprised. They stared at each other in silence.
"I didn't know..."
"I know. How could you have? Like I said, you disappeared. I wanted to find you, to invite you to the wedding...Kikyo insisted that I didn't. Only real fight we ever had..." Kagome silently thanked Kikyo for that feeling her heart clench. "It was the hardest time of my life - when she died....all I wanted was my best friend." He finished softly. "But I couldn't find you"
Shock rippled through her. "After all those years you still considered me your best friend?"
"Still do." he smirked. "I don't make friends easily."
"Don't apologize." he cut her off softly, before quirking his lips into a smile. "I think I did okay. Kagome is a great kid - in spite of me - and I'm proud of her."
"She is a great kid." Kagome murmured looking toward the cabin with a soft smile before looking back at him. "And I'm sure it's because of you."
"Keh." he huffed, bringing a wider, truer smile to her face. A gust of wind blew her hair into her face and she lifted the strands away. "It's different to see you looking so...girly."
"I resent that!" she cried in mock outrage. "What did you think? That I was still traipsing round with a basketball under my arm wearing your old tee shirts?" She blushed, remembering that she did indeed still have one of his tee shirts - ancient and beyond faded, the red and white garment was her only tangible link to him.
"Maybe." he admitted with a shrug. She huffed and turned her head.
"Well. Sorry to disappoint."
"I wouldn't say that." he retorted, eyes twinkling as she turned back to him.
If Kagome didn't know better she would have thought he was flirting..."I should be getting to bed."
"It is late."
"I'm sure Izayoi - sorry, your mother - or Totosai will show you to your room..."
"Where do you stay?"
She couldn't think for a moment. "In the small apartment, over the infirmary."
"Oh. Will I see you tomorrow? We have a lot of catching up to do."
Okay, it definitely seemed like he was flirting..."Uh, sure. I'll meet you here for breakfast."
"I'll see you in the morning." He shook his head, placing his hands on her shoulders as she began to slip off his jacket. "Wear it. I'll get it back later."
"Are you sure?"
"Positive" he smiled, tucking the jacket around her.
She blushed and murmured a thank you. As she began to walk away, she turned back. "Inuyasha? I'm not sure if it counts for much, but for what it's worth...you're still my best friend too."
The levity slipped from his face, the look he gave her was unreadable. "It counts, Kagome. Goodnight."
Reluctantly, she turned around again to walk away. Peeking over her shoulder, he gave her a small wave before shoving his hands into his pockets. She retuned the gesture as she quickened her steps. Later, much later, she got out of a bed that hadn't seen much rest in the past two nights, climbing out of the window and onto the small eave outside of it.
Knees wrapped to her chest, she stared up into the starry sky, her eyes scanning for the comfort she usually felt in knowing she was only a small speck on a tiny rock. It was not to be found. Instead, the memories she'd pushed down into a box overflowed. Every moment of the two years spent at Inuyasha's side raced through her mind until she felt like she was drowning in him: his laugh, his smile, his frowns, his odd habits, his brief hugs, her longing glances. The day she wanted to tell him she loved him. The way his face looked when he realized she was going. Scrubbing her face with her hands, she wondered it would have been better to have never seen him again before another image came to her. Him, tonight- mature, handsome, intense. Anxiously biting her lip, she caught herself and scowled. Grow up - this is the same thinking that lead to the first debacle. Hearing a twig snap beneath her, she turned to see who it was. Inuyasha...
It had been a very long - and very strange- day, Inuyasha thought absently as he lay in bed. He was relived that his daughter was okay, happy even. He had been fully intending on bundling her up and taking her home where she belonged but he'd never seen her look so...vibrant. Maybe it was better for her to spend more time with children her own age. Guilt nibbled at him - guilt that made him agree to stay and help at a mountain camp for a few weeks. Now you know that's not the only reason, a little voice piped up inside of him as an image floated though his mind. Kagome. Sitting up, he rested his arms on his knees thoughtfully. It was surreal to see her again, and after so long. It was...nice. Suddenly feeling restless, he got out of bed and headed outdoors. The air was slightly chilled but clean and fresh. And the sky looked amazing. Shoving his hands into the pockets for his sweatpants, he looked upward as he walked in silence. A slight movement from a rooftop caught his eye. Kagome...? He waved slightly, and on her return of it, smiled.
He looks like a moon god. Or a nymph. Or were nymphs only females? Crap, I'm losing my mind...Kagome gasped as he leapt onto her patio and shimmied up the pole leading to the small area of roof she was perched on. "I didn't know you still climbed buildings." she blinked stunned.
"Neither did I." he smirked as she settled in next to her. Overly aware of how close he was, she silently cursed inside her head. "So what are you doing up here?"
"Just...being." she shrugged lightly.
"It's nice out here."
"It is peaceful."
He slid a look at her from the corner of his eye only to see her perceptibly turn her face from his.
"This is weird."
"Completely." she sighed before covering her mouth, eyes wide with surprise as she turned to him. "I can't believe I said that out loud."
In that moment, she was so completely his Kagome that he laughed. A lighthearted, hearty laugh - one he hadn't heard from himself in years. She began to giggle then, taking her hand away to reveal her face spilt by a dazzling smile. As the laugher subsided, they looked at each other for a long moment before he turned his face to the sky.
"I really did miss you."
Turning her face skyward again, a measure of the peace she'd known before the devastating realization of her feelings for him crept into her. It would seem, that after all of this time, he was still her best friend.
"And I you." she answered softly, without the pain that usually accompanied that thought.
Both, with the normally tumultuous thoughts in their minds at bay, sat quietly in the moonlight.
A/N: Still not as soon as I'd hoped - deepest apologies. I hope you all still enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it. Thank you so much for still reviewing. Hope the reunion was to your liking : )